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René Char

(1907 - 1988 / France)

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You have been my love for so many years,
My giddiness before so much waiting,
Which nothing can age or cool;
Even that which awaited our death,
Or slowly learned how to fight us,
Even that which is strange to us,
Both my eclipses and my returns.

Closed like a box-wood shutter,
An extreme and compact chance
Is our chain, our mountain-range,
Our compressing splendor and glow.

I say chance, O my hammered one;
Either of us can receive
The mysterious part of the other
While keeping its secret unshed;
And the pain that comes from elsewhere
Finds its separation at last
In the flesh of our unity,
Finds its solar orbit at last
At the center of our own cloud
Which it rends and starts once more.

As I feel it, I say chance.
You have raised up the mountain-peak
Which my waiting will have to clear
When tomorrow disappears.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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